Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I sit at my desk, the sun is shining, the flip-out drawer in front of the kitchen sink is finally installed and working, and I feel meh. I am out of the almond coconut milk I need for a killer smoothie. Maybe I'll just pour some cold press coffee over ice, splash in some creamer, and call it good enough. I have a feeling today's post is going to be a pity party so feel free to skip off somewhere else now.

I knew when we made this move that it would require a lot of work and would take a long time. But somehow I figured it would be done by the first of September and I would have all glorious fall to look forward to working in my studio, weaving, spinning, woodworking, baking, and gardening in addition to my regularly scheduled cleaning, laundry, maintenance chores. Instead, I have what feels like an unending stream of chores and tasks that do little to feed my creativity with no end in sight. I can't even look at a room in this house and says it's done (unpacked, fixed up, and ready for regular maintenance--preferably by someone else).  For the first time in years I am trying to do all the house cleaning myself, and it's not going well. Oddly enough, it's not the bathrooms, kitchen, or laundry that get me down; it's the hardwood floors. I have yet to figure out how to keep them dusted (with three dogs, two cats and a caged bunny all contributing daily fur) much less mopped. Toilets and catbox are the easiest as they are finite and quick. The floors go on forever and by the time I have dusted them from one end to the other, the first end is hairy again so I can't mop it.

If that weren't enough--and trust me, it is--I am not doing as well with the daily solitude as I thought I would. Last Saturday when we went to Dave's office and the comic book store, I would normally have stayed home. That would have been a father/daughter outing. But I just couldn't bear to be alone in the house for another day. Dave encourages me to go out, go to Hill Country Weavers, meet people, get involved in something. But I feel guilty leaving the house in the state it's in. He says it's fine. I think it's a disaster. Any joy I get from going out is wiped away when I get home by the weight of everything I didn't get done because I was out.

Today I am looking at shipping three orders for the studio, putting away a week's worth of laundry, changing the beds, vacuuming the carpets, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the kitchen, attempting to dust the floors, thinking about mopping them, cleaning out the vacuum and the two robot vacuums which are all full of pet hair, bathing Baxter, finding an orthodontist for Jessie and making her an appointment, contacting social security about getting my mom's tax forms for 2015, and getting both cars registered in Texas. There is no way on earth I am going to get through that list--especially adding the two fun things I have on tap which are making fresh linguini and pesto and having lunch with Dave. So there is absolutely no chance that I will get any further on unpacking and setting up the utility room (so I can finally see the floor in there to mop it), the sunroom (ditto the mopping), my desk (thank god no mopping), and the greenhouse (really that's just mopping), and the studio (which I will NEVER, EVER MOP!).

That means that when I wake up tomorrow, things will be pretty much the same as they are today with the exception of clean laundry and a clean dog. I still won't have found someone to mow the front grass (we no longer have a mower and I don't have the heavy work boots and long, thick pants to wear doing it to protect me from all the snakes that are probably in it), mopped the floors, or washed the windows. The apartment will still need painting, new floors, and some focused attention to get it ready to rent. And I still won't be comfortable inviting anyone over--for dinner or anything else--because I am so stressed about the state the house is still in three months after I moved in, and almost a year after we bought it.

Okay. Pity party over. Going to crank some music, roll up my metaphorical sleeves, and get working on the laundry.


Unknown said...

Ahh - see, you have forgotten that one of your chores is actually to be creative! You MUST do this thing! So clear a little room somewhere, a small personal only space, set up your wheel or a small lap loom, put a music player in the area and devote 1-2 hours after lunch EVERY DANG DAY to making yourself happy, fulfilled and sane. Then go do other things. In fact, work on one house project before personal time, then shift to another project afterward - change what you are seeing and doing. Then you will 1) get your house settled 2) get yourself settled 3) get your family happy - cause if Mama ain't happy, NO ONE is happy :D

PR I have friends with hardwoods, 3 dogs and 2 cats - and they swear by the Roomba as a great intermediate. You'll still need to mop once a week, but it keeps the crazy to a dull roar.

Miss you - and hope to plan a visit to Austin sometime! (after you are settled in? :D )


Brenda Griffith said...

Thank you Alyssa, I miss you so much! I so wish I could go to retreat this fall, but I just can't swing it. :-(

Bridget Paley said...

Dueling Roomba set at opposite ends with timers to start at 4am. Get up, empty the girls start dueling mopping Roomba


Bill said...

How many rooms do you have? Divide that number by five and sweep that many rooms in a day. Make mopping a family chore once per week. Direct most of your energy to your studio and the production of all the great stuff that you do. Let the yard turn into a nature preserve. Buy more Roombas. Exercise. Get out of the house daily at least for a run or a bike ride just to get a new perspective. You can do it!

ren said...

i feel ya with the hardwood floors. so my answer was to sweep/vacuum when i can and ignore it otherwise. it's not gonna get better, so i live with it as is. but this article on “scruffy hospitality” struck a chord with me and i have decided this is what you get at my house. there will always be wine, there will likely be food, and there's room to sit and chat. the bathroom will be clean, the kitchen will be free of disease, the sheets and towels for guests will be clean, but everything is what it is.

Mike Ziolkowski said...

Hire some help for routine cleaning which will free you to get the rest of the house in order. He/she can also help with unpacking.

A surprise suggestion from a friend worked well when we moved -- hire a trainer to do it. If they're just getting started they won't have a full sked and will be looking for work to fill in. You may have to show him what to do the first time for many tasks but since they're not routine they actually get done better with the extra attn paid. Also, if you need help lifting moving heavy studio items to get the house in order, he's equipped.

She discovered this by accident -- hers could would come by the house for training but if she wasn't ready, he would ask if a loose outdoor fixture could be rehung, eg.